PDRC "street picnic" for election day | Bangkok Post: learning

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PDRC "street picnic" for election day

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The PDRC is calling for a "national picnic" day in Bangkok streets to express its opposition to – some say block – tomorrow's general election. 

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It may not look like Paris, but PDRC co-leader Sathit Wongnongtoey wants a similar street atmosphere throughout the city tomorrow – which just must make it difficult for some voters to get to polling stations. KITJA APICHONROJAREK

PDRC to seize streets with picnic protest

Sathit wants 'Parisian feel' for poll day rallies

Manop Thip-Osod

Anti-government protesters say they will picnic on the streets of Bangkok as part of their rally against the general election tomorrow.

Supporters of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) say they will not physically block voters or attempt to intimidate them, and will instead adopt a soft approach.

They say they will turn main streets into picnic venues and arrange music and art activities imitating the artistic atmosphere of the Montmartre area in Paris, PDRC co-leader Sathit Wongnongtoey said yesterday.

However, the move is still seen by many as an attempt to obstruct the vote by restricting travel to polling stations on election day.

Protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban earlier said tomorrow's rally will be the PDRC' s "biggest ever" and asked his supporters to gather on every road in Bangkok and to park their cars in the lanes.

Rally leader Suthep Thuagsuban and a few of his friends "picnic" during yesterday's march from the 5-way Lat Prao intersection. Mr Suthep is urging his supporters to hold similar picnics and street activities throughout the city tomorrow on election day. KITJA APICHONROJAREK

Mr Suthep told demonstrators at the Pathumwan rally stage last night that the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) is set to use force to crack down on protests if violence erupts on Sunday. As a result, people who want to oppose the election should not block polling stations but come out to gather on the roads instead.

"If they still suppress us holding peaceful picnics on the roads, the world will know, that they [the caretaker government] intend to cause violence," Mr Suthep said.

"For the southern people who are besieging the venues keeping ballot papers, just continue doing so and make more peaceful gatherings. Don't remove [the ballots], don't flee and don't fight, just sit and pray if the authorities come," he said.

The group disagrees with holding the election before its proposed reform of national politics, aimed at rooting out corruption and the influence of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

It says an election can be held once the reform process is complete.

Mr Sathit said the group is determined to be non-confrontational in its anti-election stance, so it will hold a "national picnic day" to keep the protesters away from tension and confrontation.

Protesters have been told to avoid creating tension and confrontation. KITJA APICHONROJAREK

PDRC supporters from Chulalongkorn and Thammasat universities will prepare toh chin, a Chinese-style feast in which people sit around a table and are served Chinese dishes, and offer it for free along Henri Dunant Road.

Food stalls will also offer free meals to people along Rama I Road from Pathumwan intersection to Ratchaprasong intersection, Mr Sathit said.

"Participants can also bring food from home for the picnic," he said. "They will be eating and watching entertainment at the same time."

The area in front of Siam Centre shopping mall will be turned into "Montmartre", where artists will gather and offer to draw sketches of passers-by, Mr Sathit added.

Another activity to be held at the rally site at Pathumwan intersection is "balloting" at booths, to mimic the casting of ballots at polling stations.

However, Mr Sathit said, the ballots are not votes but reflections written by PDRC supporters about their feelings.

Vocabulary:

adopt: to accept or to start using something new - นำมาใช้

aim: to have as your purpose or goal - มีเป้าหมาย มีจุดมุ่งหมาย

approach: a way of doing or dealing with something; a particular way of doing something or thinking about something - การจัดการกับปัญหา วิธีการทำให้ถึงจุดหมาย

arrange: to plan or organize something in advance - จัดเตรียม, เตรียมการ

atmosphere: the mood or feeling that exists in a place - บรรยากาศ

authority: a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

ballot: the piece of paper on which someone marks who they are voting for - บัตรเลือกตั้ง

besiege: to surround a place and prevent people or supplies from getting in or out - ห้อมล้อม ล้อมปิด

block: to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else - ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง

booth: a small tent or temporary structure at a market, an exhibition or a fairground, where you can buy things, get information or watch something - แผงลอย,ห้องเล็ก, บูธ

caretaker government: a temporary government that is in charge of a country until a new government is elected - รัฐบาลชั่วคราวที่ตั้งขึ้นเพื่อรอการเลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่

cast a ballot: to vote, i.e., to put a marked ballot in a ballot box - ลงคะแนน, หย่อนบัตรเลือกตั้ง, ออกเสียงเลือกตั้ง

co-leader: one of two or more leaders of a group -

confrontation: a situation in which people or groups are arguing angrily or are fighting - การเผชิญหน้า

crack down: to start dealing with someone or something much more strictly - เข้มงวด การปราบปรามหรือลงโทษอย่างรุนแรง

demonstrators: people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something - ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง

determined: wanting to do something very much and not letting anyone or any difficulties stop you - ตั้งใจจริง, ซึ่งมุ่งมั่น

dish: food prepared and cooked in a particular way - อาหาร

entertainment: fun; behaviour or activities that are not serious but come from a sense of enjoyment - ความบันเทิง, ความสนุกสนาน

erupt: to start suddenly - ปะทุขึ้น

feast: a large or special meal, especially for a lot of people and to celebrate something - งานเลี้ยง,งานฉลอง,อาหารมากมาย

feeling: an emotional condition or state that a person is in such as anger or happiness - ความรู้สึก, อารมณ์

flee: to leave a place or person quickly because you are afraid of possible danger - หนี อพยพ

gather: to come together in a group - รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน, จับกลุ่มกัน, ชุมนุม

imitate: to copy something - เลียนแบบ

influence: the power to have an effect on people or things - อิทธิพล

intersection: a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก

intimidate: to attempt to frighten someone in order to get them to do something - ทำให้กลัว, ข่มขู่

maintain: to keep - รักษา

meal: the food that you serve or eat at one time - มื้ออาหาร

mimic: to copy the way somebody speaks, moves, behaves, etc - เลียนแบบ

non-confrontational: avoiding dealing with people in an aggressive way that is likely to cause arguments and instead discussing things with them - หลีกเลี่ยงการเผชิญหน้า

obstruct: to make it difficult for something to happen or for someone to go somewhere - ขวางทาง

oppose: to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน

order: a situation in which everything is well organized or arranged - ความเป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย

ousted: forced out of a position of power - ที่ถูกขับออกจากตำแหน่ง

participant: someone who takes part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม

PDRC: People's Democratic Reform Committee, an anti-government protest group, headed by Suthep Thuagsuban - กปปส. คณะกรรมการประชาชนเพื่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงประเทศไทยให้เป็นประชาธิปไตยที่สมบูรณ์ อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข.

physically: in a way that is connected with a person's body rather than their mind - ด้านร่างกาย, เกี่ยวกับร่างกาย

poll: an election - การเลือกตั้ง

polling station: the place where people vote in an election - หน่วยเลือกตั้ง

pray: to speak to God or a saint, for example to give thanks or ask for help - ภาวนา, สวดมนต์

process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ

proposed: suggested as an idea for a group to consider - ถูกเสนอ

protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม

reflection: careful thought about something, sometimes over a long period of time - การไตร่ตรอง

reform: a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - การแก้ไข การปฏิรูป

restrict: to limit - จำกัด

root out: to find something bad or illegal and get rid of it - ทำลาย, กำจัด

seize: to take control of a place or situation - เข้ายึดพื้นที่

set to: ready to do something - พร้อม

site: a place where something is located - สถานที่

sketch: a simple picture that is drawn quickly and does not have many details - ภาพร่าง

stage: a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, speakers etc. perform - เวที

stall: a large table or a small building that is open at the front, used for selling things (or for giving people information) - รถ หรือแผงขายของ

stance: your attitude, views or opinion about an issue - ความเห็น , จุดยืน

suppress: to stop opposition or protest using military force or strict laws - ปราบ, ปราบปราม

tension: the feeling caused by a lack of trust between people, groups or countries - ความตึงเครียด

urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น

venue: the place where an activity or event happens - สถานที่ที่จัดงาน

violence: physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people - ความรุนแรง, การใช้กำลังทำลาย

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